Domestic violence numbers up

by Christa Lollis

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Domestic violence and assault cases have been on the rise in East Texas in the last year.

With the holidays just a few months away, the Family Crisis Center is prepared for more victims seeking shelter. Joann Black with the center says, "If we look at all the numbers for the past however many years, look at the statistics for the agencies during the holiday season our numbers of clients, they do go up, they do increase and it's because the holiday season is very stressful."

According to statistics from the center, those numbers don't even tell the whole story.  60 percent of sexual assaults are never even reported.  They also say that 3 to 4 million women are abused each year, and some of them may try as many as seven times to leave their abuser, before they do it for good.  "It's a really scary time for them so the idea may cross their mind that I really want to leave, I really want to get out of this situation but I'm not quite sure what to do," Black said.

But with safe houses set up throughout East Texas the family crisis center has helped 1500 families make a fresh start in 2007 alone. "Trying to turn your life around it's obviously not going to be done overnight.  It's a recovery time basically so people need to know that there not to blame and there are people, agencies like ourselves that are out here to help them," Black explained.

And police have a no tolerance policy if a report is filed.   The Lufkin police department says they are strict and so are the judges in the East Texas area.

If you need help out of a violent situation the family crisis center is there 24 hours a day at 1-800-828-7233 or  call their office at 936-639-1681.